Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Analysis

609 words

Mr. Jobs and his press department have a take on DRM. While all they write there is fairly obvious, it may be one of the few situations where a CEO-type person publicly says that DRM software can’t really work and comes down to being a nuisance. How refreshing. But unfortunately the text goes on to blame the record companies for the DRM crap and the Europeans for not liking it. Or so.

Let’s just say that it takes several parties to play the DRM game. And Apple is a big one of them. Perhaps Mr. Jobs has found his master in the ‘content owners’ and once in a while couldn’t get his will and had to do a bit of bending over to secure those deals he was so eager to do. And in doing those deals he apparently also agreed (or wanted) to force DRM crap on all other ‘content owners’ – even those who would prefer not crippling their music. Well done.

But as Wil Shipley writes in his amusing text on the topic, the real shame here are two different things: The first one is Mr. Jobs writing what could be seen as a ‘first blog entry’ and getting linked to by pretty much all the world. And in extension to that, even the proper dead-tree newspaper on my breakfast table reporting about this on the first page of their culture section this morning. Envy!

The other one is the thing with the analysts. To be honest, I don’t even know what an ‘analyst’ does for a living. But from what you hear from their orifices in public it seems pretty sure that working or having a clue isn’t what they are paid for. So far, the impression I got is that they work for companies with long names and their job is to talk in complicated words for about things they have no idea about with the aim of making other people who have money make even more money without needing to work. So, um, whatever. Apparently that’s a very profitable thing to do in our wonderful world.

Anyhow, those analysts apparently didn’t like the truth about DRM and started criticising along. On a topic they have no clue about nonetheless. If we can’t just ban their job alltogether, perhaps we could just agree that they shut up in future or only air their nonsense to the people who pay them. There’s really enough crap in the news already. Peace.


Just a side note on Mr. Jobs’ text. I noticed was that it contains a sentence like … CDs which must play in CD players that support no DRM system. What a twisted way to think about this! Really makes DRM sounds like a feature or something good. I think this really highlights where things were going wrong. When they invented the CD, they put research and engineers at the project. The aim was to store music digitally and get a sound quality that is good. Together with keeping things at a reasonable size and so on. And the great thing about that was that all of the research done there was actually beneficial for the people buying the stuff later on. You can’t say that about any DRM stuff. It’s just a lot of money wasted on software that doesn’t work at best and inconveniences the paying customer at worst. If the aim of a device is to play music, there is no space for DRM in there. Just compare the development of the CD to that of the DVD which seems to have been ‘designed’ by marketing people and other crooks.

February 8, 2007, 8:20

Comments

Comment by Adam Watkins: User icon

“However, nobody held a gun to Jobs’ head to make Apple implement iTunes; he and Apple cannot evade responsibility for what they did.” - Richard Stallman

Indeed. Apple chose to push DRM by choosing to distribute music (from the Big Four). Assuming that this is something other than a PR appeal, changing this problem from inside the system, as it were, doesn’t seem to be working.

February 8, 2007, 15:18

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